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Good Chain Lube??? Mines WD40. :P

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Good Chain Lube??? Mines WD40. :P

Old 04-17-19, 09:37 AM
  #76  
WizardOfBoz
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
First, DON'T USE GASOLINE!

Second, this is a prime example of overcomplicating what should be a fairly simple procedure. Why do an organic solvent cleaning (DON'T USE GASOLINE!) and follow it up with a water based degreaser and follow it up with a water rinse? The organic solvent (DON'T USE GASOLINE!) will do everything the water based degreaser does without the need to remove the degreaser and then remove the water. The wax won't be hurt by any residual factory lubricant and will just act as a solvent.

Compare your elaborate procedure to what I do. I strip the chain of factory lubricant when I install it with mineral spirits (DON'T USE GASOLINE!). 30 seconds of swishing it around in a cup (or less) is all it takes.
I repeat this, as someone with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, and as one who writes mathematical models of human health and physiology. Even as one who is skeptical of irrational chemical-phobia. --> DON'T USE GASOLINE!

If it were only the fire hazard, I'd still say DON'T USE GASOLINE!
If it were only the carcinogenic hazard from benzene and polycyclic aromatics, I'd still say: DON'T USE GASOLINE!
If it were only for the fact that min spirits works as well and cleans up better, you guessed it: DON'T USE GASOLINE!

cycocommute's point about swishing the chain around in a jar (the large plastic peanut jars with wide caps work great*) is one method I've used.
I'm thinking, though, of buying one of the cheap ultrasonic cleaners to clean some vintage parts, and you can read here that some have had good luck with that (with dishsoap or Simple Green in water - don't put min spirits in an U/S cleaner!).

*remove peanuts first.
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Old 04-17-19, 09:41 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Wattsup View Post
Titanium? You need to baby titanium. I recommend the following homemade biodegradable lube for titanium bicycles:


1. Completely strip chain with mineral spirits. Allow to dry overnight.

2. Set chain in a medium-sized skillet. Brush on extra-virgin olive oil. Yes, olive oil.

3. Heat on low, 3 minutes, being sure not to allow oil to smoke. The goal here is to simply warm the chain and oil. Remove from heat.

4. Promptly sprinkle a *very* light coating of powdered sugar on your chain....less is better. Heat again on medium/high for 1 minute or until light brown sheen appears on chain. This is the caramelization phase.

5. Remove from heat, allow to cool, reinstall chain.

6. Enjoy an all-natural, food grade, "dry" lube that won't collect dirt and that is very water resistant, and titanium-safe!
Sounds good, thanks
Perhaps at #3 we could add a soupçon of garlic to help ward off the tirebiters?
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Old 04-17-19, 09:57 AM
  #78  
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Just got finished cleaning everything, and installed a new chain with squirt lube for the first time today. I've been reading about it for a while but finally committed to getting a bike clean enough to bother. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 04-17-19, 11:00 AM
  #79  
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A Clean lubed chain will shift well &
last longer.
Find a method that works for you.
...
measure your chain every 3-500 miles to determine
wear& when due to be replaced.
...
OR Not
You can Buy a new chain & gears
when needed

I like the 300+/- mile R&R method:
have a clean one ready to put on ,
clean & lube the dirty one (whenever ) so ready
So it’s ready for next R&R
Lube every so often between R&Rs
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Old 04-17-19, 11:56 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I'm open to not using the gas for the stripping.

I do time trail. Things need to be perfect. I also have a spare chain for all 3 bikes. So, it's literally 30 seconds to swap chains. If I'm doing the crazy work for the TT bike chain only, it's only like a minute or two extra work while I'm doing it to give the others the same treatment. All three chains fit in the ultrasonic cleaner.
You'll need to define "perfect". Lubrication of the chain isn't really going to have that much of an effect on your times. Sorry but it just won't. There are too many other factors to consider...weather conditions, wind direction, wind speed, your body position, etc. Course factors like a bit of sand in a corner or a pot hole or a crack will have more of an influence. Tire pressure will probably be more important...and I doubt it's all that important. Your state of mind probably has more of an impact that what is on your chain.

As for time, it's not the time it takes to swap the chain...I contend it takes a bit longer than "30 seconds"...it all of the preparation prior to the chain swap.

Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Adding dry tube o lube on top of dry tube o lube is just adding lube/wax on top of contamination. It's probably perfectly fine for what you use it for, but internal contamination is what wears out the parts in a chain faster. It doesn't stretch, the rollers and moving parts literally wear so there are more clearances that stack up over the length of the chain to make it longer. The plates don't stretch, nothing stretches.

Just my opinion, but I'd guess chains would last longer the less contamination that gets routinely left in the thing.
I'm not ignorant of the mechanisms of chain wear. I'm also a bit more versed in materials than the average person so I know a thing or two about what the contaminants are and how they interact with the chain and how they impact chain wear. But it really doesn't matter. If a specific lubricant provide a significant increase in mileage, you might have a point. But chain lubricant doesn't seem to have that much of an effect on chain wear. There are a few outliers out there who report thousands more miles that everyone else but I take their report with a very large grain of salt. Most everyone gets about 3000 to 4000 miles out of a chain regardless of lubricant...dry lube, wax lube, oil lube or homebrew motor oil mixtures.

Dry lubricants don't hold onto contaminants so refreshing the lubricant doesn't really flush contamination into the chain. Wet chain lubricants do hold onto contaminants and move them down into the chain even without being refreshed. The mobility of oil based lubricants means that the oil serves as a pump to put the right sized and right hardness of particles exactly where there don't need to be. This means that the chain wears no matter what you do to it and no matter how many time you clean it. It is going to wear out at a rate what most people report.

But before you (or I) go getting all superior about dry lubricants or waxes, they have their own problems. Because they are viscous and don't flow, when they get pushed out of the high(er) pressure areas of the chain, they don't flow back in to fill the void. This avoids the problem of pumping in contaminants but they are more likely to have metal to metal contact which means wear. The end result is the same mileage but for different reasons.

The choice comes down to one of constant maintenance (oil and hot wax) or little maintenance and a cleaner system (dry lubricants and solvated wax lubricants). My personal choice is for low maintenance and cleanliness. If one method was superior to the other, people would report longer wear intervals.
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Old 04-17-19, 01:20 PM
  #81  
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I didn't invent the cleanup/wax job, the vendor did. I just follow it.

http://www.lillylube.com/uploads/Lin...lo_Article.pdf

And, single digit watts in TT and in tri matter. The wattages shown in that article, for a full tri distance you're talking about 3 to 5 minutes difference over the length of the course. In a 25mi TT, that'd be a 1/4 as much. But still, a whole minute in a 25mi TT is an eternity.

FWIW though, you're right on the contamination part. That didn't make sense rereading that.

It just boils down to if I'm having to do it to one chain on one bike, my additional time for the others is marginal.

Having a spare chain ready to roll is a time saver, whether it's 30 second to swap or 5 minutes. It's not having to repeat the process repeatedly, you're batching up your actual "long" work with the chain less frequently. If it's an hour or something to clean and wax, it's an hour for two or more chains at once. Not every time I swap a chain out.
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Old 04-17-19, 01:52 PM
  #82  
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Don't use Gasoline, mineral spirits or paint thinner to strip chain of its factory lubricant if you plan on using WD40 as a chain lubricant. Because then WD40 will not work as a chain lubricant. LEAVE factory lubricant!
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Old 04-17-19, 01:55 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Don't use Gasoline, mineral spirits or paint thinner to strip chain of its factory lubricant if you plan on using WD40 as a chain lubricant. Because then WD40 will not work as a chain lubricant. LEAVE factory lubricant!

I soak the clean chain in chainsaw bar oil for a week or so.
hoping to get clean oil deep into the chains moving surfaces
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Old 04-17-19, 02:30 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
First, DON'T USE GASOLINE!

Gasoline is hazardous to your health and incredibly flammable. It will vaporize at just about any temperature you want to use it at (flash point -40°F) and that vapor will spread rapidly an invisibly.

There are other solvents which are far less flammable and far less toxic. Mineral spirits is just as effect but has a flash point in the 70° F to 130°F range depending on the grade. Odorless mineral spirits is in the 130°F range. You should still take precautions like using it in a well ventilated area and using personal protection equipment but you don't have to be as vigilant.

Second, this is a prime example of overcomplicating what should be a fairly simple procedure. Why do an organic solvent cleaning (DON'T USE GASOLINE!) and follow it up with a water based degreaser and follow it up with a water rinse? The organic solvent (DON'T USE GASOLINE!) will do everything the water based degreaser does without the need to remove the degreaser and then remove the water. The wax won't be hurt by any residual factory lubricant and will just act as a solvent.

Your procedure is also rather involved for something that needs to be done every 300 miles or so. Depending on how much you ride, that could be something that is done as often as weekly. Most people have better things to do.

Compare your elaborate procedure to what I do. I strip the chain of factory lubricant when I install it with mineral spirits (DON'T USE GASOLINE!). 30 seconds of swishing it around in a cup (or less) is all it takes. I take it out and let it dry. I install it and use a wax based lubricant. I add wax based lubricant as needed and never remove the chain until it is replaced. The interval I get between lubrication is 600 to 700 miles unless it rains but I'm not concerned with that too much. I've used this method while on tours all over the US without any issues whatsoever. It's simple, effective and efficient. And my drivetrain is every bit as clean as yours. I just spend less time on keep it that way.

Just need one thing clarified--should he use gasoline?
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Old 04-17-19, 04:08 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I didn't invent the cleanup/wax job, the vendor did. I just follow it.

http://www.lillylube.com/uploads/Lin...lo_Article.pdf
That's not the procedure that they came up with. Their procedure is sequential mineral spirit baths. No water wash nor ultrasonication is mentioned. They also have a purpose to the cleaning since they are trying to have each chain have the same starting point. That's not all that important for normal applications.

I would also question some of their conclusions. For example, they say that "wax lubes in a solvent perform poorly". Rock 'N' Roll lubricants are "waxes in solvents" and two of them show up as better lubricants. Squirt isn't a "wax in an oil base". Squirt is a wax in a suspended in water.

But the differences are (mostly) trivial. The difference between wax, Rock 'N' Roll Gold and a "wax in solvent" lubricant like White Lightning is 2 watts. To put that in perspective, if you expend 200 watts to ride at 20.81 mph, subtracting those 2 watts will drop your speed by an astonishing 0.08 mph. Frankly, that's 17 seconds over your 25 mile course assuming that the power out put is always the same. It might matter to you but, to the rest of us, it's not going to make much difference.
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Old 04-17-19, 06:37 PM
  #86  
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"When the Chain-L is runs out, I'm just going to buy bar-oil from the home improvement store. It's the same thing."

Haha. I tried the bar oil this past fall. It lasts, but makes a mess and collects crude like Phil oil. Don't go there, it sucks.
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Old 04-17-19, 07:28 PM
  #87  
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Cool! A new chain lube thread! I wanna participate!

I clean my chains using one of those Park Tool snap-on chain cleaning devices with a little bit of Simple Green in it, then use the Park Tool device with some water in it as a rinse. Finally use a shop towel to dry it off as much as possible, then use 80W MANUAL transmission oil or 40w or 30W motor oil as a lube (NOT ATF that's a totally different stuff). I've been doing this for a few decades and haven't had any noticeable problems. I'm riding touring-style bicycles almost exclusively on asphalt and concrete pavement, sometimes with a little sand when near the beach. YMMV
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Old 04-17-19, 07:40 PM
  #88  
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Chain Lubes I use:
1. Turbine Engine Oil MIL-L-23699 (very nice when I can get my hands on it)
2. Starrett tool oil (light and does not attract a lot of dirt)
3. 3-in-1 oil
4. Beeswax

Beeswax was my favorite, You actually drop the chain into a can of melted wax and let it sit for a while before taking it out and running it on the bike. It only works on a NEW, CLEANED chain... end forces you to endure several miles of unbelievably stiff chain. After that, it makes for a nice, quiet, dirt-free chain.

I mostly use 3-in-1 these days. works. cheap.

Last edited by ironnerd; 04-19-19 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 04-18-19, 06:38 AM
  #89  
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I want to mention that I bought a dinky bottle of Phil Wood Tenacious bottle in 1982 and it’s still on a shelf. It’s so thick and sticky that I have no idea where one would use it on a bicycle. I bought it when I was new to cycling and used it once on a chain. Lesson learned, never again.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:04 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
I want to mention that I bought a dinky bottle of Phil Wood Tenacious bottle in 1982 and it’s still on a shelf. It’s so thick and sticky that I have no idea where one would use it on a bicycle. I bought it when I was new to cycling and used it once on a chain. Lesson learned, never again.
Sounds like this stuff


Fantastically tenacious and long lasting wet weather chain lube. I just sold the bike I tried it on.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:44 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
"When the Chain-L is runs out, I'm just going to buy bar-oil from the home improvement store. It's the same thing."

Haha. I tried the bar oil this past fall. It lasts, but makes a mess and collects crude like Phil oil. Don't go there, it sucks.
I got the bright idea to try bar oil 25 years or so ago and like the Phil Wood stuff, never again.
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Old 04-18-19, 10:13 AM
  #92  
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The trick to Chain-L (& by extension Phil's, and bar-oil) is warming the bottle to a lukewarm temp so is flows thin to avoid over application. Then getting all the excess off. An old t-shirt or cotton cloth & some time is all that is needed.

I don't think it is suitable for dry/dusty/summer time use. But for year round riding where it rains 6 months of the year, it's good stuff. Not for everybody, but good stuff all the same.
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Old 04-18-19, 10:51 AM
  #93  
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My $.01: I went mountain bikin' with a freshly "lubricated" dry wax type chain lube. I like the manufacturer, so they shall remain nameless. Conditions were indeed dry, high summer in California, moon dust coats nearly everything below the top tube after each ride. I turned around and went home after 45 minutes of riding, the loud grinding sound of a dry dusty drivetrain was too much for me to tolerate. I like Boeshield, put it on the night before riding and no fling off will occur. NFS is $16 for 2 ounces, it looks interesting but that's too much (for me) when you can get a decent new chain for $23.
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Old 04-19-19, 09:12 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
I got the bright idea to try bar oil 25 years or so ago and like the Phil Wood stuff, never again.
I just bought the bar oil. I figured being a prior arb/climber with saws that it'd suffice in a bike chain too like others mentioned. It's alright price wise. I'm not going to be to picky about the dust gunking in it that I anticipate, and the chain gets 3-4k miles anyway and either way. Meh.
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Old 04-20-19, 08:08 AM
  #95  
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There is a Canadian motorcycle shop (FortNine) that posts entertaining videos on various biker topics. The new one yesterday is on testing chain lubes!
Be aware that motorcycle chains are a bit different in that they usually have O-rings, (or X-rings) that seal part of the chain, but the rollers still need to be externally lubricated. They ran 4 different tests on a variety of lubes, and even threw in automotive gear lube, and WD-40 penetrating oil.

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Old 04-20-19, 08:14 AM
  #96  
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My Chain-L just arrived.

Thanks for the reminder thread to reorder.
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Old 04-20-19, 06:52 PM
  #97  
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This is always a question that will get 100 different responses.

I was in a shop the other day and asked what I'd consider a learned and trusted mechanic with 15 yrs experience and big time rider himself what he'd use ... wet or dry ...

He said he'd never use dry, whilst for the 1st ride it's great bit it dries off so you have to re-apply every single ride to stop it doing damage to the chain ... but if you use wet lube once in every 4/5 rides and wipe off any excess it shouldn't pick up too much debris anyway.

His comments made me think about it in more simplistic terms and also what I did as a kid .. apply 3 in 1 every so often or in fact any other oil you have to hand and wipe it regularly with a cloth and monitor whether the chain stretches as that'll probably do more damage to other components than which oil you choose to use.

Seriously beginning to think there's way too much emphasis placed on this question as it's not going to make you go 10 mph faster and oil it regularly so it doesn't cease up / create excessive wear on other parts ... that's it isn't it****************************************????
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Old 04-21-19, 08:29 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
This is always a question that will get 100 different responses.

I was in a shop the other day and asked what I'd consider a learned and trusted mechanic with 15 yrs experience and big time rider himself what he'd use ... wet or dry ...

He said he'd never use dry, whilst for the 1st ride it's great bit it dries off so you have to re-apply every single ride to stop it doing damage to the chain ... but if you use wet lube once in every 4/5 rides and wipe off any excess it shouldn't pick up too much debris anyway.
People seem to have a very wrong idea about dry lubricants. In my experience, they don’t need to be “re-appl[ied] every single ride”. They don’t even need to be applied every 4 to 5 rides...depending on length of the ride, of course. They don’t cause any kind of damage that isn’t also caused by oil based lubricants. People tout the superior qualities of “factory lubricant” but have you ever really looked at factory lubricant? It doesn’t resemble an “oil” in any way, shape or form. It is waxy and is, in fact, a soft wax. That should speak volumes to anyone who is paying attention.

Wiping off ”excess” oil is a constant issue since any oil in the chain is going to be “excess”. Oil flows so any time the bike is stationary, the oil is flowing towards the bottom and out of the chain. Wiping only removes the oil that is supposed to be lubricating the chain. If you don’t wipe it off, it serves as a mechanism for holding dirt that dry lubes simply don’t do.

Seriously beginning to think there's way too much emphasis placed on this question as it's not going to make you go 10 mph faster and oil it regularly so it doesn't cease up / create excessive wear on other parts ... that's it isn't it****************************************????
I agree that there is too much made of chain lubrication. But the problem is that those who use oil seem to feel superior to those of us who use dry lubricants. Wax and dry lubricants don’t cause the chain to seize. They don’t cause the chain to wear any faster than wet lubricants do nor do they cause any excess wear. I have several bikes with drivetrains in excess of 10,000 miles on them and they have been lubricated exclusively with White Lightning. My chainrings aren’t overly worn. I get about the same amount of wear out of my chains as other people report. My cassettes survive many chains.

The only thing I don’t have to do is constantly clean my drivetrain. Nor my bicycle. Nor anything my bicycle touches. I can put my bicycle in a car without getting the interior greasy and grimy. I can handle the chain, cassette and chainwheels without wearing a hazmat suit.
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Old 04-22-19, 11:28 AM
  #99  
jaciche
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I've used GT 85 (Original Formula) on my bikes for 5 years now with no issues. I'll keep using it because it's cheap and effective. It was recommended by my LBS because it's cheap and effective.

Last edited by jaciche; 04-22-19 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-22-19, 11:40 AM
  #100  
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Hi! WD-40 in the usual Yellow and Blue can isn't a lube. I wouldn't use it .
I use dry lube I buy from my local bike shop.
You can use a good synthetic motor oil mixed 1:1 with mineral oil .
WD-40 does make a bike chain lube. Never used it though.

Last edited by LinJack; 04-22-19 at 11:44 AM. Reason: want to add information
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